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The factors that lead to success

Recently, I was working with a business owner in another community who started her business with $7,000 of her life's-savings.

Recently, I was working with a business owner in another community who started her business with $7,000 of her life's-savings.

Three years later, she had $120,000 in inventory, some decent sales, won awards for customer service, was loved by her customers, but was struggling with credit card and bank debt that she had financed her business with.

She was reaching out for help to save the business, her sense of ego and reduce her stress load.

Every time I start working with a new business owner, like the lady in question, I am always floored by their achievements and what they have overcome to get to where they are today. These business owners are no different than you and I who may or may not have businesses, but each have other callings and aspire to different goals.

We all want to be successful in our lives, but how do we determine what success is? Are there factors that lead to us being successful?

I asked this very question to my 86-year-old neighbour Joe Weldon. Joe told me that success needs to be measured by the goals we set for ourselves.

He went further to say that it takes hard work to be successful and Joe should know. He moved to Canada to become a successful farmer and failed. He ended up selling his farm after a bout of hay fever and got into logging to feed his family. By every aspect, Joe could be considered successful. He accomplished a lot, he fed his family, he had a profitable business, had some great relationships with his employees and has a loving family and friends. Joe even has some awards that decorate his walls.

Success is determined by our achievements. These achievements have nothing to do with anybody else but ourselves. What one person determines to be successful might be failure to another, and so when we are thinking about success we need not be competitive, but we have to be clear about what we want to accomplish and how we measure that accomplishment.

So what are the factors that lead to success?

It's true that if we come from certain socioeconomic classes, have some education, live in some certain countries and have a specific skin color, our chances of worldly successes might be greater than others. But all success is not worldly, nor should it be measured that way.

How do you measure success in a friendship, or love in a family, or even business success? Some people might measure business success in terms of whether the business is profitable or not, but the truth is, for many business owners that is only one measure of whether their business is successful.

After working with many business owners and projects of change, I believe that the following factors will lead to success:

No. 1 - Mindset: Being determined to do what is necessary to facilitate the achievements we are aiming for.

No. 2 - Goals: Having concrete, specific goals that we are striving for. Without goals we are just floating along in our life or our project. We need to understand what we are trying to achieve and work backwards from there

No. 3 - Strategy: It's great to have a goal but as it has been said, a goal without a plan is just a dream. We need to have a plan or a strategy to achieve our goals. Without coming up with a plan that is feasible and works for us, it is difficult to be successful.

No. 4 - Measurement: To be truly successful we need to have some way to determine our success. We need to measure it somehow.

Success in relationships is much more difficult to measure than success on the basketball court. Success in business is often measured by profits, however there are many things as we see from the beginning story that might be seen as successful but are not monetary.

No. 5 - Celebrate: When we celebrate success, there is something in our brain that wants more of that. This is one of the reasons that there are people who seem to be successful in so many areas of their lives.

The factors that lead to success in business are the same factors that are key to any success.

Success isn't and shouldn't always be measured in terms of monetary values. However, one of the measures of success in business is based on the fact that the business is creating a profit so that the business venture can continue to live on.

Businesses must be profitable so the business will give the owner a means of living and have money for investment and retirement. Without profits, without success, businesses cannot go on providing jobs or contributing to the community.

Dave Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach who resides in Prince George and helps business owners throughout North America. If you know someone that needs help with their business, Dave can be reached at